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One of the most powerful things about the Paralympics is the respect given to world-class athletes with disabilities. Rolling through an accessible village inhabited by 4,300 other disabled people, you feel ordinary, writes wheelchair rugby player Seth McBride. And yet, it is the Paralympics, where every competitor is extraordinary — where fans pack the stands, cheer wholeheartedly and take selfies with you. Where brands outfit you with expensive swag. “You are made to feel like all of this is normal, that you deserve it because you are an athlete representing the United States of America.”
Little Evelyn was diagnosed with paralysis at 4 months, and by 7 months she was exploring her world in a homemade wheelchair her parents built from instructions online. In the way that children learn to crawl, Evelyn learned to wheel through trial and error — and now she’s a whiz. As this feel-good, one-minute video shows, the independence is strong with this one.
Alex Ghenis, C5, has been methodically adjusting his backrest — a fraction of an inch this way, a little more padding that way — for some time. “It took several months to get it right,” he explains, “but once we lowered the backrest so that the top was just under my shoulder blades and added enough lumbar support in the right spot, it opened up my whole body so that now I can move around like never before.”
In its never-ending quest to reduce costs, Medicare has begun offering the option to rent your chair for 13 months. What exactly does this mean for consumers? And what if your prescription gets demoted to a “standard” wheelchair when you really need a complex rehab technology such as tilt/recline? Here are some tips to help you through the process.
Having a baby is nerve-wracking for any first-time mom. Add paraplegia into the mix, and stress can shoot through the roof, but Stephanie Arrache discovered how to modify a commercially available crib, as well as the best ways to carry, wash and play with her son.
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